Monday, November 16, 2015

Review: Spectre

"Daniel Craig returns as Ian Fleming's British superspy James Bond in Spectre."

There has been lots of talk surrounding the rumor that this could potentially be the last "Bond Film" for Actor Daniel Craig. I say, the best evidence that Craig is done is the film's storyline, which ties up loose ends from the first three Craig movies and puts a nice bow on it at the  film's end. Thankfully we leave the theater knowing much more Bond background than we did going in, including what's behind certain villains and events of the previous movies, and why so much of what has happened is not just spy business but very personal to Bond.
I really enjoyed this film but in a way it was somewhat bittersweet. The story picks up not long after the events of "Skyfall," with Bond following a cryptic message, seemingly from the grave, to present day Mexico City in it's full "Day of the Dead" celebratory mode. Here, Bond uncovers a massive terrorist plot and, in the process, manages to destroy a couple of square miles of buildings.
He eventually makes  his way to Rome, where he discovers Spectre, a worldwide criminal undertaking headed by Franz Oberhauser (Christoph Waltz,). He also discovers the beautiful Lucia (Monica Bellucci, whose involvement is surprisingly brief), the widow of a top Spectre enforcer. Lucia is one of a few characters Mendes decided not to flesh out, and she ends up being little more than an excuse for Bond to act like Bond.
When Bond learns that the villainous Mr. White (Jesper Christensen from "Casino Royale" and "Quantum of Solace") is connected to Spectre, he tracks him to an icy cabin in Austria. That also leads him to White's daughter, the intelligent and beautiful  Madeleine Swan (Played by Lea Seydoux), with whom he teams up with to find Oberhauser.
Meanwhile, back in London, M (Ralph Fiennes) is losing his battle with Britain's new head of national security, Max Denbigh (a detestable Andrew Scott), who wants to dismantle the Double O spy program in favor of buying drones and spy satellites. He also wants to merge Britain's intelligence gathering with eight other nations', essentially creating one super agency keeping its collective eye on the world. 

The flip side to not spending more time with such intriguing characters as Lucia and Spectre enforcer Hinx ( Dave Bautista) is enjoying expanded roles for Q (Ben Whishaw) and Moneypenny (Naomie Harris), both of whom get out of the office and into the action as Bond's support team. Q's expanded role gives Craig a much-needed comic foil, as well as fulfilling the 21st-century thriller requirement of having a computer hacker along.
After a twist that would've been surprising, had "Spectre" not dropped so many clues along the way, Mendes still manages to deliver what many Bond films don't get: an ending that feels like a real ending, instead of a pause in the storyline.
Whether Daniel Craig has another Bond chapter in him, or producers are ready to move on with another actor, one thing is clear: The 007 franchise is in a much better place than when Craig first appeared as Bond in 2006. Spectre is in no way better than Skyfall, which I would consider to be Craig's best Bond film. However it does do a much better job than Quantum of Solace which most consider to be a filler in the series. It does a great job of linking the previous three films together
and leaves the viewer feeling "content" with the story line whilst whetting the moviegoer's appetite for the film's next installment. What are your thoughts on the film ? Let us know in the comment section below!